Solar energy systems are quickly becoming one of the most affordable ways to power your home in the 21st century sustainably. Advancements in solar technology have allowed solar energy generation to be possible in all environments – even in particularly cloudy areas, such as the UK.
It is no surprise that with rising energy costs and the living costs crisis, the world is facing people who are looking for ways to cut costs. While solar technology requires a significant investment, it is an investment that can not only save money on bills but eventually help you earn passive income.
Today we’ll be delving into solar energy systems for homes for beginners that know little or nothing about solar technology.
What Are The Terms I Will Need To Know?
Before entering the world of solar technology, you’ll need to know the following:
AC power – stands for alternating current. This is the power your home uses to power your appliances, lights, and anything that uses electricity.
DC power – stands for direct current, which is the kind of electricity that can be generated from sunlight.
National Grid – this grid supplies the entire nation with electricity from power plants across the country (and also natural gas). Every building or home is hooked into this huge grid.
Shading – is used when a solar panel cannot work at full capacity due to being partially or fully shaded.
How Do Solar Panels Work?
Solar panels work by using a technology called photovoltaic solar cells to convert sunlight into electrical energy. The solar panel captures radiant energy from sunlight and transforms this radiant energy into electrical energy in the form of DC electricity.
Households cannot use DC electricity, so that a full solar tech setup will convert this DC electricity to AC electricity for use in the home.
Batteries and capacitors exist to store excess DC electricity a solar panel setup generates. This DC electricity can then be sold to the national grid.
Is Investing in Solar Energy Systems Worth It?
The short answer is, in most cases, yes. Most homes in the UK will have enough space on their roofs to house more than 16 solar panels, and it takes around 20-25 meters squared of roof area to set up 16 solar panels.
To power an average household in the UK, 16 panels are more than enough and will likely produce excess electricity that can be sold back to the national grid.
While it may take several years to save enough on energy bills to cover the initial setup cost, you’ll likely never need to buy electricity from the national grid again after this cost is covered.
A common misconception is that solar panels don’t work in cloudy weather. While they are less efficient during cloudy weather, ultraviolet (UV) light and other forms of light can penetrate cloud cover. This is why it isn’t completely dark during the daytime, even with a completely overcast sky.
Solar panels can use this type of light.
What Solar Panel Setup Should I Buy?
Currently, there are two main types of domestic solar technologies:
- Solar panels
- Solar tile
Solar panels are your traditional panels bolted onto your roof on top of your tiles, which have been around for decades.
The second type, solar tiles, are a newer invention. These tiles have photovoltaic cells built into them, which means they can shelter your home like a tile would while generating electricity like a solar panel.
Solar tiles are more efficient at generating electricity as they are less prone to falling victim to shading when compared to solar panels. They are less likely to fall victim to shading because solar tiles are smaller individual solar cells that will span the full surface area of your home’s roof.
Additionally, solar tiles will need to replace your current roof tiles. This means you’ll need to pay to remove your current roof tiles for the installation of solar tiles, making solar tiles more expensive than solar panels.
The more surface area you have, the less shading will impact total power generation from a solar setup.
Solar panels have the advantage of being cheaper overall to install. They can also be taken off and brought to a new home if you decide to move houses.
The right setup for you will depend upon your budget and situation. Talking to solar tech experts is always essential to ensure you make the most of your situation and invest wisely.
Solar technology can save you money and earn you money if you invest appropriately. You must perform adequate research on the right solar system for you before choosing to invest!
However, it is worthwhile to lower your carbon footprint and save money.